All About Mulch

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With Arbor day approaching, take a moment to learn about using mulch on your trees and shrubs. 

Why mulch?  How much is needed?  By placing a three inch deep layer of mulch starting three inches away from tree trunk you will help create the ideal environment for your tree roots to thrive and produce a healthier and longer lasting tree. Wind and water may have washed last year’s mulch away. Organic mulch decays, so the depth of mulch may decline as well and needs to be replenished.

So why is mulch so important?

  • Mulch insulates the soil helping to provide a buffer from heat and cold temperatures.
  • Mulch retains water helping to keep the roots moist.
  • Mulch keeps weeds out to help prevent root competition.
  • Mulch prevents soil compaction.
  • Mulch reduces lawn mower damage.

With that said, too much of a good thing can be harmful. Placing mulch at depths greater than three inches may start to inhibit the flow of air to the soil. When mulch is placed directly against the tree trunk, it creates a harmful environment in which harmful molds can thrive. You also want to keep that three inch distance from the tree trunk when mulching to avoid root growth that can encircle your tree trunk and lead to stress and decline of your tree.

Don’t forget to water.  Learn more at Visit “9 Tree Care Tips & techniques” at arborday.org